The COVID19 has involved everyone in a fight for the common good, and after health professionals, architects have been the first to actively participate in it. Different instances have asked these professionals to support the pandemic through the creation of primary care spaces that prevent hospitals from being crowded.
So, in response to the call of different governments around the world, many architects have already begun to work in search of quick, scalable solutions. In that regard, the architect and professor of MIT, Carlo Ratti is an interesting example.
The CURA project was unveiled last month in Italy, a country that has been hit dramatically by the pandemic. CURA is a modular intensive care unit made from reused shipping containers. Its name, which stands for Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments, also refers to the term “cure” from the Latin language (heal).
The interesting thing about this modular unit proposed by Ratti is that it can be quickly replicated in cities around the world through an open source design. CURA would then serve as a response to the scarcity of space in the ICU in hospitals (watch the interview with Carlo Ratti).
EQF, another response to the pandemic
William Ti, head architect of the architecture and design studio WTA and Dr. Glenn Angels collaborated with Major Carmelo Jaluague and Major Banjo Torres Badayo to mobilize the construction of a facility called Emergency Quarantine Facilities, EQF.
The design is based on the Boysen Pavilion of the firm. EQF is an adaptable, straight installation of 6m x 26m, equipped with 15 beds, two bathrooms, a shower, a test box, and disinfection areas, to which WTA will add relief spaces in the short-term. These temporary structures intended to increase the capacity of hospitals are built using wood, and wrapped in plastic, which facilitates the addition of more modules.
As easy to replicate as the CURA project, EQF units are structured to limit cross-contamination. In fact, its design includes entrances for patients and health workers, and the airflow is directed in favor of the wind from front to back to avoid recirculation. EQF drawings have already been made public, so any community can replicate the installations without inconveniences.
MOBILE PPS, safety for doctors
The emergency unleashed with this pandemic revealed how exposed medical personnel are to infection when masks and protective suits are missing. Thinking about that Plastique Fantastique designed Mobile PPS, a space where doctors can treat patients in a protected environment (watch the video).
The facility with a fully futuristic design is a capsule, made of inflatable material that has a constant overpressure, which means that the air flows only towards the exterior space, without allowing the virus to enter. The air supply is guaranteed by a fan located outside or in an additional decontaminated space.
KAKSH, an emergency tent
In India, AGX architects created a proposal aimed at addressing the scarcity of health infrastructure. KAKSH is an effective solution that can be manufactured and implemented in a short time (2 hours) and has the potential to be scalable.
The proposal in the form of a tent is in fact a structure that can act as an alternate hospital unit or quarantine shelter for an individual. The design is focused on generating the lowest possible cost and requiring few building skills.
Thus, the manufacture of KAKSH requires minimal on-site operations and readily available materials. Also, the installation is developed with a system of components to increase and decrease its size according to the needs of the community that requires it. The prototype has a room and a bathroom.
As you can see, the pandemic has moved wills, demonstrating that creativity and resilience are the most valuable tools in times of adversity.